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October 04, 2021

Transforming Your Central Pharmacy Dispensing Operation

Greg Haas
Senior Manager, Product Marketing

For nearly two decades, Sentara used central pharmacy robotics to automate medication distribution and enable top-of-license practice. The pharmacy team became skilled at optimizing the system for peak efficiency and capacity through the years, mainly as prescribing patterns and patient mix changed. However, as the system reached its upper limits, the team sought new options with Omnicell's XR2 Automated Central Pharmacy System.

Join Jamin Engel, PharmD, MBA, BCSCP, Regional Director of Pharmacy for the Western Region of Sentara Healthcare, during Omnicell Illuminate 2021 on Wednesday, Oct. 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PDT | 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. to learn how upgrading central pharmacy automation technology has helped Sentara Healthcare to enhance their central pharmacy operations. Dr. Engel will share insights from their automation journey and discuss how this new technology is helping Sentara achieve business and clinical goals.

After evaluating their technology options and analyzing operations, Sentara realized the potential for XR2 to support their desired outcomes while improving safety and efficiency – and reducing costs by significantly reducing their amount of medication repackaging. More importantly, XR2 could help them reach the operational goal to achieve 100% barcode scanning of every medication dispensed.

The XR2 system automates nearly 99% of cart fill, and first dose medications dispensed at Sentara and enhances the hospital's preferred central distribution model. Overall, approximately 75% of patient medications are distributed via the XR2 system and delivered to locked nurse servers located within patient rooms. Other medications, such as PRNs and narcotics, are stored in unit-based automated medication dispensing cabinets.

At Sentara, 70% of all patient medications are now managed by the XR2 robot, which allowed Dr. Engel and his staff to improve the percentage of medication being dispensed through their processes. In terms of safety, eliminating the step of repackaging medications to be picked by the robot allowed more form factors to go straight to the XR2 that previously would have been handled manually and thus would have been more prone to errors.

On average, almost 20% of a pharmacist's time is spent on drug distribution activities. Thanks to the XR2, pharmacists spend less than 5% of their time on drug distribution, allowing pharmacy staff and pharmacists to operate at the top of their licenses.

For Sentara, the XR2 system was ideal as it provided solutions to their pharmacy constraints and challenges, and delivered these benefits: 

  • Knowledge-based training on existing system
  • Safe distribution – 100 percent barcode scanning
  • Expanded capacity
  • Improved throughput
  • Less reliance on repackaging
  • Reduced personnel time

Join us on Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PDT | 1:30 p.m. EDT during Omnicell Illuminate 2021, to learn how to transform your central pharmacy dispensing operations.